Benjamin Ratner.

Project Description


The saying has become commonplace in American politics: The system is rigged. On both the left and the right, and especially among young people, we are witnessing a grow- ing dissatisfaction with our electoral process. Many have grown apathetic or angry, disillusioned with a system they believe does not represent their voices. I have begun to question: how are we to restore trust in our democracy? What can we do to bring account- ability and fairness to the way we choose our elected officials?

It was with these questions in mind that I applied for an internship with FairVote, a nonprofit research and advocacy organization dedicated to reforming America’s electoral system. Their Electoral Systems and Reform Research Internship — which I was offered earlier this month and have since accepted — provides an ideal opportunity for me to explore an area of policy with which I am fascinated. Research projects will hone my investigative skills and provide full immersion into the world of electoral reform. This rich educational experience will provide me with a hands-on exploration of the field while al- lowing me to advocate for much-needed improvements to our political process.

The internship will also allow me to build upon skills that I have gained over the last two summers. Working for my state representative and on a U.S. Senate campaign involved a variety of tasks, such as conducting policy research, drafting memos, analyzing bills, and contributing to constituent newsletters. And more recently, I spent a semester pursuing my own political research for The Bowdoin Globalist, which culminated in a feature article detailing the current proposal to reform the redistricting process in Michi- gan. An internship with FairVote will be uniquely rewarding, as it will allow me to both deeply engage with my interest in democratic reform and refine my skills in policy research for a future career.

Project Details

  • Date December 5, 2018
  • Tags 2018, Government, Social Service
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